"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PTSD does not stand for "Probably Trying to Self Destruct"

                I was working on a project today for one of my classes and it occurred to me how easily I talk about my father these days. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like I’ve become completely numb to the situation, and I forget how sensitive the topic matter is. Doesn’t matter who asks me about him, or even what they ask…I’m a babbling fountain of TMI. But then I get in front of the keyboard…and not a word. Not a damn peep comes to mind. Figures the one place I’m actually encouraged to talk about him and I clam up like a criminal in front of a cop.
                Although now that I’m sitting here thinking about it…I have found something that has recently really bothered me. Lately I’ve talked to multiple people about my father and the situation surrounding the relationship he and I had. These people are friends of mine, coworkers, etc…and they looks they’ve given me, the tones they’ve taken, and the all-around attitude has really put me off.
                Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s a lot to take in and I get that. And if I was just blindsiding them with information I would get it. But I have responded to specific questions truthfully…and gotten stared at like a crazy person.
                This has mostly come about regarding my PTSD. I’m taking a class on the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD right now and so it has come up a few times. I was talking with some people about it the other day and they asked me about it and why I was interested. So (in a roundabout and not specific way) I told them what it was and that I was interested because I had it. They asked why, I responded with a somewhat evasive answer…and then they kept prying. Finally I told them a little bit more, that my father had been extremely abusive, and that is what caused it.
                Well of course that started a new onslaught of questions. “What does it mean?” “What happens to you?” “Are you cured?” “What does a panic attack feel like?” So on and so forth. I did my best to explain in a short fashion…but by the time I got through explaining panic attacks…they were staring at me like I was a crazy person.
                Now because of that…I’m going to explain this again. I have PTSD. Some days it doesn’t affect me much…and other days it is completely debilitating. Today was one of the better days, and the only issue was the random panic about 2 hours ago for NO reason whatsoever. Last week however, there was one night that I slept about 35 minutes total…and spent all day in and out of hyperventilating…again for no reason.
                I can’t always explain why I feel the way that I do. And it can be downright terrifying and crappy. But I refuse to let it affect me. I get distracted easily and sometimes over focus on things that I shouldn’t. Sometimes I can’t breathe, or I get no sleep at night. Worst case scenario I step out of the room for a minute, or I’m a little crabby the next day. It doesn’t mean I’m going to go nutty and lose my mind on some unsuspecting person. Well…unless the person is a moron…in which case it’ll have nothing to do with the PTSD and all to do with my low idiot level tolerance.
                My point is…yes I’m a little crazy. We all are. We all have different issues that we deal with every day. This little disorder sucks. I don’t like it and I find it to be incredibly time consuming sometimes…but that’s all it is. My brain works differently that most people, and it’s got a bit of a malfunction. I’m still me. OCD cleaning-cat loving-homework hating-fitnesslazyass-me.
                On top of it all, I’ve learned to manage it. I’ve learned my triggers and the things to stay away from. I’ve learned how to handle an attack or the other symptoms as they hit me. I don’t need to be tiptoed around or treated like a child because of it.
                Here’s the deal…if you aren’t ready for the answers…don’t ask the questions. I’m an open book. I don’t lie about who I am or try to pretend that I’m someone that I’m not. And I won’t. I’m not going to sugar coat things because it makes someone feel better about their life.

                And on that note…I need to stop. I’ve been up for about 22 hours…and still have a very long day ahead of me. Way too cranky to keep this up.